North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
Elections give government chance to check up on the people – with only one candidate listed on each ballot paper
The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been unanimously re-elected to the country’s parliament after every single eligible person in his constituency turned out to vote – with only his name on the ballot paper.
Standing in the highly symbolic Mount Paekdu district, Kim was declared victorious this morning ahead of the results for any of the other 700 or so seats.
Rather than being a democratic choice between candidates, elections in North Korea superficially provide the people with the chance to approve the politicians pre-selected by the leading party. Each ballot has a single named listed with the option to pick “yes” or “no”.
In practical terms, however, they are a powerful tool for the government to check up on the movements and potential dissidence of the population.
Announcing Kim’s 100 per cent victory today, the state media agency declared: “This is an expression of all the service personnel and people's absolute support and profound trust in supreme leader Kim Jong-un as they single-mindedly remain loyal to him.”
This was the first “test” to Kim’s authority since he came to power – elections are usually held every five years in North Korea, the last being held before the death of his father Kim Jong-il in 2011.
External analysts of North Korean politics watch the elections closely, despite the lack of any contest, because the changing line-up of so-called “deputies” gives a rare glimpse into the thinking of the leading Workers’ Party (WPK).
The new parliament was expected to meet next month, with experts keen to see if the new set of representatives reflects a generational change as Kim continues to replace older, more entrenched figures with younger – and potentially more loyal – ones.
The elections usually receive a turnout of around 99 per cent nationwide. Michael Madden, editor of the NK Leadership Watch website, said this reflects one reason the autocratic North has votes at all: they provide “the most comprehensive assessment of the population”.
Mustering the nation is a chance for the authorities to hone their mobilisation skills, check the efficiency of local leaders and get a snapshot of internal movements.
“The DPRK is very good at mobilising the population for events,” Mr Madden said, adding that elections “are celebratory events”.
“According to North Korean migrants and defectors, it is very difficult to get a hardship dispensation from participating,” he said.
Mr Madden said security officials will review data on non-voters to glean information on suspicious activity - absentees could be defected military personnel or workers who have escaped to China in search of higher pay and a better life.
Apple agrees deal with Visa on contactless payments
- 1 Is Apple's iCloud safe after leak of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities' nude photos?
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
iPhone 6 'hidden code' could indicate sharper screens or bigger phones
Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Ariana Grande nude photo leak: 'These are completely fake'
A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
London 'terror threat': Metropolitan police deny tube attack hoax
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: You will not be expected to hav...
£45000 - £53000 Per Annum plus bonus plus package: The Green Recruitment Compa...
£110 - £135 per day + Competitive Rates: Randstad Education Maidstone: Outstan...
£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA/Developer SQL, C#, VBA, Data Warehousi...